All Kinds Of Crazy Microbes On NYC Subway

Discussion in 'The Howard Stern Show' started by BethSucks, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. BethSucks

    BethSucks Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    Dangerous pathogens and mystery microbes ride the subway
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    New York City's subway system has never been known for its cleanliness, but even the most jaded city dweller may be shocked and disgusted to learn just what types of microorganisms are lurking on the average subway pole.

    A group of researchers led by Christopher Mason of the department of physiology and biophysics at Weill Cornell Medical College swabbed surfaces and collected specimens from the subway system to develop a map of what they called an "urban microbiome." The result, seen above, is called the PathoMap and it illustrates concentrations of 637 known bacterial, viral, fungal and animal microbes detected in the study.

    The vast majority of the bugs Mason and his co-authors collected were non-pathogenic and represent normal bacteria present on human skin and the human body, the study published in the journal Cell Systems found.

    The findings were "generally reassuring, indicating no need to avoid the subway system or use protective gloves," Weill Cornell Medical College said in a press release. Nearly half of the samples contained DNA profiles that scientists had never seen before.

    Twelve percent of the bacteria found on the subway system were associated with disease. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria were found in 27 percent of the samples collected. Two samples turned up DNA fragments of Bacillus anthracis, which is anthrax, and three samples turned up a plasmid associated with Yersinia pestis, or Bubonic plague, the study said.

    But researchers emphasized that there is no evidence that the scary bacteria are even alive, and there is also no evidence that they are linked to any instance of disease.

    "They are instead likely just the co-habitants of any shared urban infrastructure and city, but wider testing is needed to confirm this," Mason said in the release.

    No case of Bubonic plague has been reported in New York City since the study began, the study emphasized.

    "Despite finding traces of pathogenic microbes, their presence isn't substantial enough to pose a threat to human health," Mason said in the release. "The presence of these microbes and the lack of reported medical cases is truly a testament to our body's immune system, and our innate ability to continuously adapt to our environment."

    The PathoMap breaks down every point where swabs were taken at each of the city's subway stations -- including benches, turnstiles, stairway railings, train seats, poles, trash cans, and kiosks -- and the taxonomic classification of the bacteria, viruses and fungi that were found.

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    Hotspots of viruses found in the New York City subway system are highlighted on the "PathoMap" created by researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College.

    www.pathomap.org

    Nearly half of the DNA from all the samples, 48.3 percent, did not match any known organism, "which underscores the vast wealth of unknown species that are ubiquitous in urban areas," said co-lead author Ebrahim Afshinnekoo, a senior at Macaulay Honors College-Queens, who starting working on the project as a Tri-Institutional Computational Biology and Medicine Summer Student in 2013.

    The study also found significant variation across the different subway lines and parts of the city. The Bronx was found to have the most diverse range of microbe species, followed by Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. Staten Island was the least diverse.

    The idea for the PathoMap goes back to 2010, when Mason picked up his daughter from day care and noticed that she and all of the other children were playing with the same toys and putting them in their mouths.

    "What is on those toys, and the surfaces in this environment, and all the other environments, and how much is my daughter absorbing every day?" Mason was quoted on the PathoMap website.

    The resulting study in 2013 led to the creation of the PathoMap, which used the subway system as a representation of the population of New York City.

    The results of the study could be used by the city for long-term disease surveillance, response to bioterrorism threats, and long-term health maintenance, the researchers suggested.
     
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  2. BethSucks

    BethSucks Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    "Robin, who would use that, don't they have car service"
     
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  3. reno

    reno VIP Extreme Gold

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    I'm staying home!
     
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  4. blindbella

    blindbella Well-Known Member

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    I usually walk or take cabs, but a couple of years ago I had to take the subway to Brooklyn and man, did I come down with a
    terrible virus.
    I was sick for 2 weeks. No voice, fever, etc.
    There was nothing I or any doctor could do but wait it out.
    This does not surprise me at all.
     
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  5. Jayla

    Jayla Ou ai-je l'esprit? Gold

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    Shocker that.
     
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  6. TheMercenary

    TheMercenary Collecting Light Gold

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  7. newcastlefan

    newcastlefan גֵּרְשֹׁם VIP

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    when i lived in NJ we had dioxin in the waters, lead in the wells, and anthrax in the soil. now we have the same things in the subway? big deal.
     
  8. sstressed

    sstressed enhancement toker VIP

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    yikes. so many things that would love to kill us.



    a few years ago, 2 guys put saran wrap (something like that) over the toilet bowls of homes and businesses. normal places.

    then they flushed and checked out what was on the saran wrap under a microscope. it was eye opening how much nasty stuff gets thrown around. i'd hold my breff as long as i could if i was in a public toilet. :nooo:
     
  9. Stew Nod

    Stew Nod Hello VIP

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    I always wear a hoodie in any of these places..airplanes, subways, theaters..anywhere numerous scummy humans have sat previously. This way I can lean back relax and not worry about disgusting germs
     
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  10. Stew Nod

    Stew Nod Hello VIP

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    I also have the capability of using a public restroom without ever touching any surface with my skin :grad:

    I can open a doorknob with my foot :rofl:

    Nah, I don't have issues
     
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  11. Rodney21a

    Rodney21a Well-Known Member Banned User

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    Confirms my contention that New York the so called self proclaimed greatest city on earth is a Cesspool on so many levels.
     
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  12. Captain

    Captain Alto, Blanco y Guapo Gold

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    Pffff. Pikers. You want Filth? Disease? Uncouth and unclean ridership? Organisms of unknown origin? I bring for your consideration the BART line in San Francisco or the number 30 bus. You survive either of these homeless magnets, and you can be lowered into a septic tank head-first and do laps.

    On BART Trains, the Seats Are Taken (by Bacteria)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/06/us/06bcseats.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    "Fecal and skin-borne bacteria resistant to antibiotics were found in a seat on a train headed from Daly City to Dublin/Pleasanton. Further testing on the skin-borne bacteria showed characteristics of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, the drug-resistant bacterium that causes potentially lethal infections, although Ms. Franklin cautioned that the MRSA findings were preliminary."

    Worst Bus Route in City?

    http://www.yelp.com/topic/san-francisco-worst-bus-route-in-city

    "i forgot about the 30/45. those little old Chinese ladies are viscous. The will trample right over you without a second thought.
    the 9 just always smells like homeless guy who has worn the same pair of pants for a month."
     
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  13. RenchFries

    RenchFries Official Dawgshed Dutch representative Gold

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    No surprise where that shit goes down.

    I don't live there but I've seen it. NYC has a lot of places that are genuinely unique and awesome, but a lot of it would be benefited with healthy dose of napalm.
     
  14. newcastlefan

    newcastlefan גֵּרְשֹׁם VIP

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    wussies!
     
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  15. unclefreddy

    unclefreddy Well-Known Member

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    I worked in the city and took the R train everyday for about 2 years. I wasn't sick once. I thought maybe I built up a good immunity, but it's amazing that an unknown disease hasn't wiped us out yet.
     
  16. Jayla

    Jayla Ou ai-je l'esprit? Gold

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    Sounds normal to me. Public restrooms are vile.
     
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  17. Blur

    Blur Alumnus

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    The subway.... for me to poop on!
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  18. Tranquil

    Tranquil Well-Known Member

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    Never read articles like that, all they do is make you paranoid. I've ridden the subway for a few months once and I never got sick the whole time, so what does it matter if there are some weird pathogens roaming around. If the end result is you are fine and still in good heath, who cares I say.
     
  19. stanggirl

    stanggirl There's no replacement for displacement VIP

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    I've ridden the subway my entire life! I'm still alive.
     
  20. teehee

    teehee Friend Of The Friendless VIP

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    Same here. I'm lucky that I usually can walk or cab it. Had jury duty and the fastest way to get there was by subway. I felt covered in nasty germs. I got sick too.. The subways are great for fast travel, but a cesspool.
     
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